Starbucks plans to give away 50 million free songs through iTunes to mark the beginning of its new deal with Apple.

The giveaway begins in the US on October 2, the day Apple's iTunes WiFi Music Store - which features Starbucks exclusive “Now Playing” service - goes live in more than 600 Starbucks locations in New York and Seattle.

The promotion launches Starbucks' exclusive partnership with Apple, that lets customers use the T-Mobile HotSpot WiFi Network at participating Starbucks to wirelessly download music onto iPhone, iPod touch or a laptop from the iTunes WiFi Music Store, with no connection fees or HotSpot login required.

The coffee shop giant will offer free songs to customers across the US, not just those visiting WiFI-enabled stores participating in the deal with Apple.

Customers will receive “Song of the Day” cards redeemable on the iTunes Store for Mac or PC for a complimentary song hand-selected by Starbucks Entertainment.

Songs will come from artists including Bob Dylan, Joss Stone, Dave Matthews, Bebel Gilberto, John Mayer, KT Tunstall, John Legend, Annie Lennox, Joni Mitchell, Keith Urban and Paul McCartney.

Throughout the promotion, Starbucks will give away 1.5 million downloads on iTunes per day for a total of more than 50 million free songs.

“This is a landmark moment for Starbucks,” said Ken Lombard, president of Starbucks Entertainment. “With the launch of the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store at Starbucks we can now provide the same classic coffee house experience and compelling music offerings our customers have come to expect from us through a new platform ideal for the digital music consumer. This is the first step in combining the power of brick and mortar retail and digital music.”

Starbucks will also introduce a new feature that allows customers using the iTunes WiFi Music Store at Starbucks to instantly preview, buy, and download the music currently playing overhead.

Starting on October 2, Starbucks company-operated locations in the US will offer iTunes Digital Release Cards for sale, including KT Tunstall’s Drastic Fantastic. Each iTunes Digital Release Card contains a full album’s worth of music, and features collectible artwork. After the card is activated upon purchase at Starbucks, customers can download the album and bonus material on the iTunes Store for Mac or PC.

Starbucks will also offer the Starbucks Card Plus Two, a limited edition re-loadable Starbucks card with added bonus value. When the card is registered online the cardholder receives two complimentary song downloads of their choice on the US iTunes Store.

The iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store at Starbucks will continue its national rollout to 350 Starbucks stores in the San Francisco Bay area in early November; 500 stores in Los Angeles in early February 2008; 300 stores in Chicago in March 2008; and additional markets throughout the US later in 2008.